Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grilled Hawaiian Pork Chops




I don't need an excuse to use the grill. I love being outside and watching my kids play in the sandbox, my husband slaving away at weed pulling (I keep telling him it is a lot easier to manage if you do it more often than once a month), and the smell of hot coals on mesquite wood. Pork however, pork scares me. It's something we never really ate in my house growing up but I feel compelled to try and find ways to sneak it onto my family's plate. We have had many failed attempts in our house to bring "the other white meat" onto the weekly rotation, but I have to say this dish was TASTY!! Imagine how good it would be on chicken! haha

Ingredients:


  • 4 bone in pork chops
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple 
  • 3 green onions (white parts only) thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar


Directions:

Mix pineapple, onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar and place in a large bowl. Add chops and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Marinade chops for 2-6 hours.  Remove from marinade before cooking and discard leftover marinade.

Heat grill to med-high heat ( about 500F). Brush grates with oil and grill chops over direct heat about 10 mins, turning once, until internal temp reads 145F.

Remove from grill and enjoy!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fun in the Garden


We moved into a new house at the beginning of April and one of our goals was to have a garden. In the past I have not had much luck with gardening. In fact, you could even say I have a black thumb. My grandmother used to have the most beautiful plants, it was like an art to her. So we started by sewing some seeds the first week of April and lucky for us, it has been raining like we live in Seattle! Usually this time of year we have already been put on city water restrictions! Needless to say, our little garden has grown into something beautiful! I love that I can share with the girls the importance of self reliance and how it can affect our lives for the better.
Our pepper plants are starting to grow
Our watermellon, none so far :(
Little E with our first zucchini
Big E with the zucchini

First we made sure our raised box was tilled and ready for plants!
The beginnings of our cucumbers!
Our HUGE Serrano pepper plant!
We have TONS of zucchini
Our first little Thai chili!


Its amazing what some rain can do!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Simple Kebabs



Summer is upon us and here in Texas we like to spend our days outside enjoying the sun! We love a simple meal we can throw on the grill and feel good about. What is more simple than kebabs!! Here are some of our family's favorite combinations!


  • Sirloin
  • Baby new potatoes
  • red onion
  • zucchini  

  • Pork Loin
  • Green Onion
  • Peaches

  • Jalapenos
  • Cream Cheese
  • Bacon

  • Sirloin
  • Broccoli
  • Tangerines 

  • Chicken
  • Pineapple
  • Red Pepper

  • Shrimp
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Zucchini

  • Strawberries
  • Poundcake

  • Watermellon

These are just a few of our favorites. I would love to hear some of YOUR family's favorite skewer combos!! Happy Grilling!! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oven Baked Naan Bread




After 2 weeks of being forced to stay off my feet and out of the kitchen with recovery from surgery, I was so happy to be able to get back in the kitchen. Big E and Little E joined me today and we made some naan for our curry dinner.


The hazards of baking with a baby in your arms. Floured toes!!


If I have one weakness, it is bread (or maybe cake). I love it in all shapes and forms and it loves to shape and form me! We have a love/hate/eat kinda relationship.


Ingredients:
(As adapted from Fine Cooking) 

2 cups lukewarm water
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup milk
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Fennel seeds, black onion seeds, and ground pepper for seasoning.
Click here to find out more!



To make the dough: Put 1/2 cup of the water in a cup or glass and stir in the yeast. Heat the milk in a small saucepan to lukewarm, about 100°F. Pour the milk and remaining 1-1/2 cups water into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture. Stir in about 2 cups of flour, stirring always in the same direction, until smooth. Stir in the salt and continue stirring in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is too stiff to stir but is still soft. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Wash, dry, and lightly oil the bowl. Knead the dough until it's smooth, 4 to 5 minutes, incorporating only enough flour (by keeping the work surface dusted) to prevent the dough from sticking; the dough should be quite soft and not tight.
Put the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic, and let it rise in a cool place for 8 hours or overnight. If you're not ready to bake yet, punch down the dough, put it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
To shape and bake: About 1-1/4 hours before you want to serve the breads, set an oven rack to an upper-middle rung. Put a large baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles on the rack, leaving a 1-inch gap around the border. Heat the oven to 500°F.

Pull the dough away from the sides of the bowl and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half, putting half of it back in the bowl (covered) while you work with the other half.
Cut the dough half into five equal pieces. Shape each one into a ball by rolling the dough on the counter or by using both hands to turn it, round it, and smooth it. Put the balls to the side or back of the counter (flour the surface), and brush each with melted butter. Cover with plastic and let rest for 20 minutes. During the last few minutes of resting, prepare the remaining dough the same way.
Dust a rimless baking sheet or peel lightly with cornmeal or flour. Put one risen ball of dough on the floured work surface and push it out with your fingertips to a 6- or 7-inch round; don't turn it over. Set it aside; repeat with a second risen ball. Bake the breads until their rippled tops have light golden spots and the bottoms are golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove them with a peel or long-handled spatula, transfer to a rack to cool for about 5 minutes, and brush with more melted butter, if you like. Wrap them in a cotton cloth to keep them soft and warm. Repeat the shaping and baking process with the remaining 8 balls of dough.

 Our Ratings:


Mama F: 9 - Very flavorful and the texture was the perfect combination of soft and crunchy. Next time I will try it with some garlic!





 Daddy F: 9 - I liked how it was soft but still crunchy in all the right spots! 






Fuller Kids: 10 - Always fans of any carbs, this bread was gone in 60 seconds! 






Lucky the Dog: 7 - Very tasty. Bread is one of my favorite food groups. Along with steak, chicken, and of course, BACON!  
Click here to find out more!
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